Russia's Yandex invests $15M in US search underdog

By the Associated Press | September 29, 2011 | 11:05 AM EDT

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Blekko, a Silicon Valley startup trying to build a spam-free search engine, is getting some love from Russia.

Yandex, the most popular search engine in Russia, is expressing its affinity with a $15 million investment in Blekko. Yandex will also share some of its computing power and other technology with its new U.S. partner.

The alliance, announced Thursday, marks the first time Yandex has invested in a U.S. search service. Yandex and its 3,000 employees hope to learn more about the nuances of U.S. search requests from Blekko.

Yandex's support is a coup for Blekko, a search engine on a crusade to remove the junk that can clutter the results of market leader, Google, and its two main rivals, Yahoo and Bing.